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Maintenance of air-conditioning vital in care facilities to prevent Legionnaires'
Lead: With month's getting warmer and healthcare environments turning on air conditioning sooner, a disease is lurking to spread rapidly. Legionnaires' Disease is a killer but also preventable.
On the whole, Legionnaire’
It is important to note that the disease cannot be passed from person to person and it is a type of pneumonia which usually affects the middle-aged and elderly more severely. People who have a pulmonary or breathing disorder, e.g smokers or asthmatics, can also be affected regardless of age. As the pneumonia develops there may be chest pain, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea, and hallucinations.
1 out of 10 people who contract the disease results in fatality, however most cases can be helped with the prompt treatment with antibiotics, although specific types of antibiotic must be used as the bacteria can hide inside the cells of the respiratory tract, and the antibiotics must be able to penetrate the cells.
The most annoying thing about the disease is that it’s preventable. The risk of catching Legionnaires' can be reduced with appropriate maintenance and cleaning of possible sources, such as air conditioning systems. So take the time and effort now to ensure the care home or nursing environment remains as disease free as possible, and help protect those who deserve the uttermost of care.
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